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Dutch politician sued over comments comparing COVID restrictions to Holocaust

Four Holocaust survivors and Jewish groups file civil lawsuit against Thierry Baudet, leader of the far-right Forum for Democracy party

Dutch right-wing leader Thierry Baudet speaks to reporters at the Dutch Senate in the Hague, on February 5, 2020. (Sem Van Der Wal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
Dutch right-wing leader Thierry Baudet speaks to reporters at the Dutch Senate in the Hague, on February 5, 2020. (Sem Van Der Wal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Four Holocaust survivors and Netherlands-based groups battling antisemitism have filed a civil lawsuit against a far-right politician over “hurtful” comparisons of COVID restrictions to the tragedy, they said on Tuesday.

The complaint against Thierry Baudet, leader of the far-right Forum for Democracy party, came after he said the non-vaccinated were the “new Jews” on Twitter.

He also posted two pictures side by side: one of a child who could not go to a school Saint Nicolas event due to COVID restrictions, and another of a boy during the Second World War in Poland’s Lodz ghetto wearing the Nazi-imposed Star of David.

The Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI) said such comparisons “were completely wrong historically… and particularly hurtful for the victims who survived the Holocaust” and their families.

CIDI said the coronavirus measures had nothing to do with the Nazi ideology that killed six million Jews during the Holocaust.

“With these comments, Baudet puts the horrors of the Shoah on the same level as the measures against the coronavirus,” said the CIDI, which filed the complaint along with the four survivors and an umbrella group called the Central Jewish Board. “He is minimizing the importance of the Holocaust.”

The plaintiffs are demanding Baudet remove the offending content and be banned from posting Holocaust pictures in the context of the debate about COVID restrictions, the CIDI said, as well as be fined 25,000 euros ($28,000) a day if he fails to comply.

Baudet has been dubbed the Dutch Donald Trump and one of his tweets was labeled misleading by Twitter ahead of elections in March, a first for a Dutch politician.

He did not immediately react to the complaint against him.

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